Authors

Pod(s)

Air, Pollution

Module(s)

Atmosphere

Abstract

The following exercise is designed to acquaint you with point sources of pollution in your neighborhood. The exercise utilizes the EPA’s Envirofacts website. Envirofacts allows users to search and find out information about pollution sources anywhere in the United States. You can also identify point sources of pollution in your neighborhood, learn about specific facilities, and create maps. To begin with, go to http://oaspub.epa.gov/enviro/ef_home2.air and enter your zip code. What will be displayed is a list of facilities in your zip code that have been issued an environmental permit. Scroll over to the “Stacks” column and then down the page. “Stacks” refers to smokestacks at a given facility. Most of the facilities listed may not have a stack. Scroll down the column until you locate the facility in your neighborhood with the greatest number of stacks. If you find that none of the facilities in your zip code have a stack, try a zip code from a neighborhood near you, or enter the name of a city and state near where you live, until you find a facility that does have a stack. Once you’ve located a facility with the most stacks, click of the number of stacks for that facility, highlighted in blue and information about that specific facility will be displayed. Scroll down the listing until you come to “CLASS CODE”. This code indicates whether the facility is a major or minor discharger of pollutants.